Safety Belt Dangers

There`s just no reason, excuse, justification, you name it, for buckling your kids with a seat beat or putting them in a car seat. It`s wrong and it`s potentially deadly.

In fact, the doctors at Texas Children`s Hospital (www.texaschildrens.org) say motor vehicle crashes caused 53 percent of all accidental child deaths in Houston and Harris county between 2006 and 2007.

'Thirty-eight children under the age of 5 years were killed, and only 16 were restrained,' said Debbie Marley, manager of the Center for Childhood Injury Prevention (www.texaschildrens.org/Locate/In-the-Community/Injury-Prevention) at Texas Children`s.

That`s why the hospital has teamed up with Toyota (www.toyota.com/about/philanthropy/safety/BuckleUpForLife.html) and the Cincinnati Children`s Hospital Medical Center (www.cincinnatichildrens.org/giving/how-you-help/stories/ftc/archives/fall-2011/buckle-up) to bring 'Buckle Up For Life' to Houston. Buckle Up For Life nearly tripled the number of properly restrained children among participating families in one city. Texas Children`s hopes for similar success in Houston and Harris county.

'Properly used restraints in passenger vehicles can reduce the rate of fatal injuries in infants by 71 percent, and toddlers by 54 percent,' said Marley at a news conference at the Toyota Center to kick off the campaign.

Of course, handing out tickets would also go a long way to get the point across.